Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cute cupcake idea from Catsparella!

These cupcakes would be awesome as Halloween treats, don't you think? I love finding things that combine two or more favorites of mine, in this case baking and cats! See the original post here:

Catsparella: Cat Cupcake Tuesdays:

A wonderful, moist chocolate cake recipe from Ina Garten would be perfect for these cupcakes. I think they're divine with my cream cheese frosting, but at the bottom I've also included Ina's chocolate frosting (I call it mocha because it includes coffee). Her recipes were originally published in Food & Wine magazine.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup strong brewed coffee

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment circles; grease the parchment. Dust pans with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Also makes one 13" x 9" sheet cake or approximately 24 cupcakes.

Combine the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together at low speed. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla and coffee. Beat for two minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans (fill cupcake tins only 2/3 full). Bake for 30-35 minutes (20-25 min. for cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temp. (substitute with vegetable shortening if cake will not be refrigerated)
16-24 oz. (2-3 pkgs) cream cheese (use the higher amount if you like a lot of frosting) at slightly cool temp.
1-1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter and sugar together in a mixer until fully blended, add vanilla, then drop chunks of the cream cheese into the mixture and beat on high until smooth. You may need to refrigerate the frosting to stiffen it up for piping decorations.

Mocha Frosting
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp. instant coffee granules

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the powdered sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.